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Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Geneva family law attorneyWhen a married couple chooses to end their marriage through divorce, the court may award spousal support to one spouse. Spousal support is sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance. It refers to payments that one spouse makes to the other in order to help him or her maintain their quality of life after the marriage has ended. Spousal support can be based on an arrangement between the couple, a prenuptial agreement, or a decision by the court itself.

How Is Spousal Support Awarded?

Spousal support is similar to child support in that it is awarded to a person who needs income support from a former spouse. Unlike child support, which in most states is awarded according to very specific guidelines, courts have much more discretion in determining if spousal support is appropriate or not. The court also decides how much spousal support will be awarded and for how long payments will occur. Courts consider the following factors in making decisions about spousal support:

Geneva family law attorneysGetting engaged to be married is a joyous time for any couple. In the midst of sharing pictures of the ring, scouting out locations for the wedding, and celebrating with friends and family, couples are also faced with a hard choice: Should they create a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup or premarital agreement, is a legally-binding agreement that a couple signs before getting married in order to protect each spouse's financial interests. Some people incorrectly assume that prenuptial agreements are only appropriate for celebrities, the extremely wealthy, and those couples who do not think their marriage will last.

Plan for the Worst

Geneva family law attorneysYou probably know at least a few married couples who are going through a rough patch in their marriage. One or two of them may even have separated as they try to figure out what to do next. While many couples who undergo a trial separation end up back together, it is the beginning of the end for others. In fact, most couples who get divorced live separately for a period time before filing and while the proceedings are underway. But, does the law require a separation period before a divorce in Illinois?

Recent Changes

Before 2016, Illinois law required a couple seeking a no-fault divorce to live separate and apart for up to two years before the divorce could be granted. If both spouses agreed, the court could shorten the separation period to six months. If a spouse filed for divorce on fault grounds—including bigamy, adultery, repeated mental or physical cruelty, and abandonment—the separation requirement did not apply. The filing spouse, however, was required to provide proof to the court of his or partner’s misdeeds. As a result, fault-based divorce fell out of favor with the average couple.

Posted on in Divorce

Geneva family law attorneySo, you have made the decision to pursue a divorce. After months of talking, counseling, and family therapy, you and your spouse have realized it is time end your marriage and go your separate ways. You have made basic arrangements for your property and your children, and you have reached an agreement on spousal support. All that is left to do is to file your petition with the appropriate court. But which court is the right one? You may be surprised to learn that most couples have at least a couple of options.

The Letter of the Law

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that proceedings for divorce “shall be had in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides.” The plaintiff is the spouse who files the divorce petition, making the other spouse the defendant. This means that law presumes that your divorce will be heard in the circuit court of the county where either you or your spouse live at the time the petition is filed.

Posted on in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneyNo reasonable person gets married with the expectation that the marriage will end in divorce. While most people realize that divorce is a possibility—given that between 30 and 40 percent of marriages ultimately end that way—a marriage consists of two people building a life together. Unfortunately, relationships sometimes fall apart, even those that were formalized by marriage. When a marriage starts to fail, there are often warning signs that may be evident, and if you know what to look for, you may be able to save your marriage before it is too late.

Common Warning Signs

No two marriages are exactly alike, but relationship experts suggest that the red flags associated with failing relationships are often similar. It is important to remember that one or two such warning signs may not spell the end of your marriage, but the more there are, the worse off you may be. The most common signs include:

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